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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho GOP Convention kicks off in Twin Falls

By Lorien Nettleton (Twin Falls) Times-News

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Three days of committee meetings, workshops and party business kicked off Thursday at the 2022 Idaho Republican Party Convention at the College of Southern Idaho.

Statewide nominees include U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, former U.S. Rep. Raúl Labrador, Gov. Brad Little, House Speaker Scott Bedke, Controller Brandon Woolf, Treasurer Julie Ellsworth, and education superintendent candidate Debbie Critchfield.

Over the next two days, the party will adopt a platform and decide whether to retain Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna or replace him with challenger Dorothy Moon, a state representative from Stanley.

Luna has faced challenges from some in the party who have objected to a lawsuit Luna filed against the Bonneville Republican Party, including unpaid volunteers.

Also scheduled were special events such as a Keep Idaho Red Rally on Friday night at the County Fairgrounds in Filer. Ari Fleischer, press secretary for President George W. Bush was the schedule speaker for the 7.p.m. rally.

The welcome reception on Thursday night was an opportunity for Twin Falls Republicans to showcase the region’s attractions and economic assets.

Idaho Republican Party Chairman Tom Luna was master of ceremonies for the welcome banquet, and talked about the days ahead.

“You’re going to have the opportunity for a lot of in-depth training on things that are very critical to us to continue to grow the party and elect more Republicans,” Luna said.

Luna talked about Idaho’s growth and how the Republican Party is growing with it.

“I have met so many people that are here for the first time,” Luna said. “I think this is evidence of our efforts to involve more and more people and to grow this party and to unite this party.”

Luna thanked Chenele Dixon, candidate for Idaho House of Representatives, and who served as the chairman of convention.

The program for the evening began with an opening prayer from Twin Falls County GOP Chair Suzanne Hawkins, and the Pledge of Allegiance led by Rep. Laurie Lickley, who is running for Idaho state senate in November.

County Commissioner Jack Johnson showcased some of the many attractions, including Shoshone Falls, the Evil Knievel Jump Site, and Cauldron Linn.

Johnson also described a few of the major industrial contributors, from users of Barley like Coors, Lamb-Weston, and Chobani.

Most speakers took the opportunity to showcase the assets of the Magic Valley.

Johnson was one of the few to state a position on any issue.

“Nationally, we’re on a ship with no one steering it, we all know that. We’re heading toward the brink of disaster,” Johnson said. “Looking around this room, some of the familiar faces I see here, I also know we are up to the challenge and have the leadership to turn that ship around.”

Twin Falls Mayor Ruth Pierce described the business that Twin Falls has successfully encouraged.

Highlighting some of the largest employers, Pierce told the crowd that after securing the Chobani plant, Twin Falls wasted no time in facilitating the yogurt company’s facility.

“(The) million-square-foot facility was built in 326 days, so we mean business,” Pierce said.

The Keynote Speaker Melissa Barry of Visit Southern Idaho also gave convention attendees a top-five list of must-see sights to visit while in the area.

Committee meetings, workshops and trainings ran from 8 to noon Friday and the General Session ran from 2 to 4 p.m.

Also Friday

Dozens of protesters showed up Friday to voice their opposition to the U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade with bold signs and loud chants.

The protestors want abortion rights to be reinstated after SCOTUS overturned the landmark case last month.

The protesters gathered at the College of Southern Idaho, which was host to the Idaho GOP Convention.